Monday, December 3, 2007

Powder Keg

Bure baruta; Drama, Serbia/ Macedonia/ France/ Greece/ Turkey, 1998; D: Goran Paskaljević, S: Miki Manojlović, Lazar Ristovski, Mirjana Joković, Mira Banjac, Aleksandar Berček, Bogdan Diklić, Danilo 'Bata' Stojković, Dragan Nikolić, Mirjana Karanović

Belgrade, '96. Destinies of twenty people intervene one night: a teenager searching for girls causes a car accident with his car while the owner of the damaged vehicle destroys his father's apartment. An retired cop discovers he was beaten up by his friend the taxi driver years ago because he once beat him up, so they make up. An aggressive boxer kills the lover of his wife in the shower, in a train molests a girl whose boyfriend died in the war and blows himself up with a grenade. A Bosnian refugee kills a maniac who stole his bus full of people. Mane returns as a wealthy man from abroad to his wife Natalia, but gets killed by her new lover. Young Ana argues with Đorđe, but they get caught and molested by mobster Topijo. Đorđe kills him and runs away with Ana.

Powerful and quality drama "Powder Keg" seems like some sort of a Serbian version of "Short Cuts", but due to it's extremely depressive and dark atmosphere, that also exercises a social critique, it will definitely repulse a part of the audience since it can be easily summed up with "people molest and kill other people, the end". Still, the movie won the FIPRESCI Prize at the European Film Awards and daringly combines Balkan tragedy with quirky humor and weird situations, from friends who argue while boxing up to a rich foreign worker who wants to seduce his former love with a romantic orchestra on the river, and all actors are great. Director Goran Paskaljević crafts an unpleasant, vile, yet also demanding film created out of 6 stories that intervene, but it's confusing tone and rigid black and white messages about how everything is awful and nothing more prevents them to become anything more and some parts are boring.


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